Getting through school is hard enough without having to deal with diseases such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s. Unfortunately, students suffering from IBD don’t have much choice about going to school. If your case is extremely severe, you may consider homeschooling as an option, but for most teens, staying in school with your peers is exceedingly important. In this post, I’ll discuss how to get through school when you are in a flare.
As someone who has struggled through a flare while remaining in school, I know that these tips can help immensely.
- You and your parents should talk to the school and your teachers immediately.
For the sake of your well-being, you and your parents should set up a meeting with your teachers as well as the head of the school (if possible) to inform them of your disease and your symptoms. You should also let them know what medications you currently take and what procedures you may have to undergo during a flare. You should tell them how this will affect you academically and ask for help and cooperation from the school. Talking to them in a meeting will help them understand your disease on a more personal level, and they will take your flare more seriously.
- Ask about a 504 Plan/Accommodations.
The next step after scheduling a meeting is to look into a 504 Plan or Accommodations. A 504 Plan can really help, especially in public schools, which are required to follow such a plan by law. Even in private institutions, however, accommodations or a 504 Plan may be accepted. These plans allow for a variety of accommodations, such as extra time on tests/assignments or being allowed to leave the room if necessary.
- Take care of your body.
After talking to the school and, hopefully, receiving accommodations for your IBD, you must try to help yourself by taking care of your body. One of the most critical components to treating IBD is sleep. As a teenager, it may seem impossible to go to bed early and sleep for a substantial amount of time, but doing so can change how you feel during the school day. If you try going to bed early, you don’t feel as tired as you would if you went to bed at a normal time. This is true for all people, but it is even more important for teens suffering from IBD.
- Eat a healthy diet.
Another difficult but essential task is to eat a healthy diet. Teens like to eat junk food, but it harms your body and makes it more difficult to focus on school. Try to eat the healthiest option at home and at school. Every time you eat, think about how the specific foods you are consuming will affect your IBD.
- Limit extracurricular activities.
Limiting activities is so challenging for teens. Most high school students wake up, go to school for eight hours, play sports or participate in some type of extracurricular activity for a few hours, go home, do homework, and then go to sleep. This a busy schedule to maintain, and it is impractical for a teenager with IBD. Limit extracurricular activities as much as possible when you are in a flare. You don’t want to exhaust your body and make your symptoms worse by participating in too many activities.
Going through school with IBD is tough, and you have to go about it with caution. You must have the support of your parents, your school, and your teachers during a flare. While seeking academic success, you should simply try your best and be careful not to hurt yourself. It is essential that you not strain yourself too much while going through a flare.